Britain's Farage: Don't underestimate Le Pen

2017-04-24 22:22
Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen speaks in Lyon, France. (Michel Euler, AP)

Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen speaks in Lyon, France. (Michel Euler, AP)

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Washington - Brexit spearhead Nigel Farage on Monday said France's far-right anti-immigration firebrand Marine Le Pen could score a shock upset in her country's upcoming presidential election run-off against European centrist Emmanuel Macron.

"There is still all to play for," Farage, the former UK Independence Party leader who has praised both Le Pen and populist US President Donald Trump, told Fox News.

"And given last year - Brexit, Trump and all sorts of surprises - don't write this off," he said about Le Pen's chances.

The odds are stacked against Le Pen in her underdog race against clear favorite Macron, whom polling suggests would win the May 7 final-round vote by some 20 percentage points.

Farage said he was not "calling it" for Le Pen, but predicted the gap between the two candidates will "narrow considerably" in the next two weeks.

"This is a big battle of two huge cultural ideals: one, the globalists who believe in open borders, and the other, those who believe in nation states and protecting their people," he told the US network.

Trump, meanwhile, has made no public comment on Sunday's first-round results.

His chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Trump has not endorsed any French candidate and will support whoever wins next month.

"We've got a long-term relationship that's historical with the French people and the French government. And no matter who wins, that relationship is going to continue," Priebus told NBC News on Sunday.

Read more on:    nigel farage  |  marine le pen  |  france

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